Is there anyone who doesn’t face disappointments? Job seekers don’t get hired, homebuyers are denied loans, kids don’t get into their top pick schools, the guy/girl doesn’t call or do as promised. People fail to follow through, let you down or get caught in a lie or omission, so you don’t know what to believe. Developments like these can test your trust and faith. It’s not surprising that when I searched “handling disappointment,” many entries had religious leanings.
As a freelancer constantly putting my talents out there, some days I feel like I’m in the arcade game Whac-a-Mole…I optimistically pop up out of holes again and again only to get bashed on the head with a mallet every time. You didn’t get this or that acting gig. I don’t want to buy/represent your book. Sorry, that big audition was canceled.
Other days, disappointments are more subtle…the phone doesn’t ring. No emails for jobs or auditions appear in my in box. It can be challenging to find the motivation and discipline to poke my head out again. Or as Fred and Ginger sang in Swing Time, to “Pick yourself up, Dust yourself off, Start all over again.”
Being an actress/writer/editor is similar to working in sales: even if you have great, useful and appropriately priced products, not every potential client will want them. The main difference is that the products are more personal. There are no employer supplied marketing materials. (Or base salary, paid vacation, health insurance.)
How do I take disappointments in stride and let them go? Having things to look forward to, like upcoming auditions or bookings, helps. I believe that each ‘no’ gets me closer to the next ‘yes,’ which encourages me to keep submitting. I focus on the many benefits of freelancing. I remind myself that I’m pursuing my dreams, which not everyone has the wherewithal or perspicacity to do.
How do you deal with disappointment?